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University of Southern California's 2019 Commencement Guide


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University of Southern California's 2019 Commencement Guide

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University of Southern California's 2019 Commencement Guide

  1. 1. Graduation 101: A Guide to the 2019 Commencement Leigh Anne Martorana Executive Event Producer, Academic Events Cultural Relations and University Events
  2. 2. Commencement Structure • Main ceremony, Friday, May 10th – Honorary Degrees, Commencement Speaker, Valedictorian address – Students process into Alumni Park at 8:30 a.m., ceremony begins at 9 a.m. • Satellite ceremonies (aka school ceremonies) – Where students cross the stage – Various locations and times throughout the day
  3. 3. Thursday Events • Baccalaureate Ceremony, 5:00 p.m. • Baccalaureate Dinner, following at 6:30 p.m. – Reservations open in February • Cultural Celebrations, 8:00 p.m. – Asian Pacific, Chicano/Latino, African American • Award ceremonies – Students will receive information if invited – Take place in afternoon
  4. 4. How can I get Commencement information? • • Information Packet – Arrives in March to the permanent address in students’ records; student should confirm in Oasis • Grad Fest: 2019 – February 13 & 14 – Regalia rental, memorabilia package deals, etc. – 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. in the Tutor Campus Grand Ballroom
  5. 5. What do students need to do before graduation? • Checklist available on under Graduates tab • Ensure on track with advisors • Check name on diploma and program – Degree Progress will send out link in late Spring • Check address online for diploma mailing • Order regalia
  6. 6. Planning for Commencement Day
  7. 7. Transportation • Always add time to account for traffic to and around campus • Suggestions: – Park at your student’s apartment and walk – Use the Metro Expo Line – Uber or Lyft • be sure to use designated drop-off and pick-up areas around campus
  8. 8. Parking • All parking in USC structures and the Coliseum parking lot on Menlo Ave. is free for Commencement activities on Thursday and Friday • Tell the attendant you are here for Commencement and ask for a pass – Passes are only valid for a day; overnight parking is not permitted
  9. 9. Wheelchair Drop-off & Seating • Wheelchair Drop-off – Enter at Royal Street Entrance, located on Jefferson Blvd. Drop off is behind Leavey Library on 34th Street – Vehicles will then be directed to park at the Flower Street Parking Structure • Wheelchair Seating – Space for one guest in a wheelchair and one escort – Located on Trousdale, near flowers that spell USC
  10. 10. Wheelchair Checkout • A limited number of wheelchairs are available for complimentary checkout • Located behind Leavey Library on West 34th Street • Checkout begins at 6:00 a.m., and all wheelchairs must be returned by 5:00 p.m.
  11. 11. When to Arrive • If attending the Main Ceremony, arrive by 7:00 a.m. to secure parking and seating – Students need to be at their designated assembly place by 8:00 a.m. to march in at 8:30 a.m. • If only attending the satellite ceremony, please plan for extra time to find parking, etc. as structures may already be full due to the main ceremony
  12. 12. Seating • Seats in Alumni Park are for students only; do not move into Student Overflow seating until directed to do so – staff will move you • Please don’t be worried about sitting near your student during the main ceremony – You will most likely not be able to see your student through the crowds • We recommend that you find a seat near a Jumbotron, under the shade, or in an area that will be convenient to get to your next event
  13. 13. Seating • Crossing Trousdale during the ceremony is not permitted; walk around the back of Doheny Library or Bovard Auditorium • Review your path to the satellite ceremony with your student; they will know the best route • Ceremonies directly after the Main Ceremony will not begin without the dean
  14. 14. General Planning • Please remember to bring: –Hat –Sun Screen –Water and/or snacks • Hospitality kiosks and restaurants located around campus; Water $1 –Comfortable Shoes/Clothes
  15. 15. Celebrating Your Student • Sashes – Very popular memorabilia item sold at the Bookstore, though not required – Can be customized with any messaging • Does take time for embroidery so don’t wait until the last minute to order
  16. 16. Sash Examples • Class year • School name • Greek letters • Nickname • Significant quote
  17. 17. Celebrating Your Student • Flower Leis – May be pre-purchased through the Bookstore – Also sold on Commencement Day in various locations throughout campus
  18. 18. Tips • Lunch – Almost every program will offer a reception before or after their ceremony, though fare will vary • Some are just light refreshments, while others are more substantial – On-campus options are available but may be very busy or have required reservations – If leaving campus, consider traffic in/out of parking structures. Give yourself enough time to get off-campus and to your reservation
  19. 19. Tips • Making Memories – For photos, get to campus early at least the day before Commencement Day to get desired shots throughout campus with and without caps and gowns • Students begin to organize their own group photo shoots in the two weeks leading up to Commencement – Return to campus at the end of the day when it is quieter
  20. 20. FAQ • Do I need to register for Commencement? – Students do not need to register for the Main Ceremony and most satellite ceremonies. Students should check the Commencement website for information about registration/tickets for their respective schools.
  21. 21. FAQ • Is there a rehearsal? – There is no rehearsal for the Main Ceremony. Students should arrive no later than 8 a.m. on Commencement Day to line up before they march. – Certain satellite ceremonies, like Dramatic Arts, may have rehearsals. The students will receive an email from their individual schools regarding any rehearsal opportunities.
  22. 22. FAQ • Do I have to attend the main ceremony? – While it is not required for students to attend the Main Ceremony, the majority of students do choose to listen to the Commencement speaker, the valedictorian, and President Autin. Students will not be called onstage individually, but families enjoy coming to this ceremony because it is a big, spirited celebration.
  23. 23. FAQ • What if I’m double majoring and the ceremonies are at the same time? • Students with a double major have two options: 1) pick one degree and only walk across the stage at that satellite ceremony 2) reach out to each school’s commencement coordinator about walking in both ceremonies. Coordinators try their best to work with other schools to call names in the beginning of one and the end of the other. Family members should be cautioned that they will have to leave one and get to the other very quickly if their student chooses this option.
  24. 24. FAQ • Where do I get a program and are they free? – Each student will have a program on his or her seat during the main ceremony on Commencement Day. Parents can pick up programs for free at any of the information booths across campus.
  25. 25. FAQ • When and where do graduates get their diplomas? – Diplomas will be mailed to the graduate’s permanent address four to six weeks after final grades are posted. Hence, why students should be checking their address listing under MyUSC in the spring.
  26. 26. Still Have Questions? Refer to: Email: